Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth’s atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation).
An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of earth. With astronomy being natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena.
Astronomers usually fall under two main types: observational or theoretical. Observational astronomers make direct observations of celestial objects and analyse the data, in contrast to theoretical astronomers who create and investigate models of things that cannot be observed.
The bulk of an astronomer’s job is heavily based on research, as the focus is on understanding how the universe works, and on trying to discover things about the universe that would be considered scientific breakthroughs.
Astronomers usually focus specifically on one sub-field. The four sub-fields of Astronomy are Astrophysics, Astrogeology, Astrometry and Astrobiology. You can read more about these sub-fields here.
Historically, astronomy was more so based on classification and description of phenomena in the sky, however, modern astronomy covers elements and motions of these phenomena. Astronomy is broken down into several subfields allowing scientists to specialise in specific objects and phenomena. These are planetary, stellar, solar, galactic, and cosmologists.
This piece was written by work experience, Sophie.